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Abi Roach talks cannabis career trajectory, new brand launch and fondest 4/20 memories

April 20, 2024  By Grow Opportunity Staff

Photo: Abi Roach

A lifelong entrepreneur, Abit Roach began her first company when she was 14 selling jewelry on Queen West in Toronto. Between Paul McCartney’s roadies and Hell’s Angels bikers, she also met the owners of The Friendly Stranger who sold her the hemp for her macramé jewelry.

When she was 20 she decided to do what she loved, and in 2000 opened a headshop called Roach-O-Rama, which, in 2003, evolved into a place called the HotBox – a lounge and a store.

“That was the concept behind HotBox essentially utilizing the community that we built through the lounge to have a community of loyal customers. People will still follow me and buy what I do just because it’s me and it’s HotBox, even though it’s been gone for so long. I did it for 20 years and got kind of tired and wanted to do something else and I had an opportunity to sell the HotBox and I sold it to the Friendly Stranger, funny enough – the people who got me started.”

Roach then got the opportunity to work for the Ontario Cannabis Store, strategizing and buying all the pre-rolls, concentrates and accessories for the province. Between maternity leave and working for Mera Cannabis, Roach also recently developed a lifestyle brand for women, Jane Dope, in addition to the consulting she does in the industry under the title Dope Brands.


OG entrepreneur, advocate and influencer, Abi Roach recounts her cannabis journey to date while saluting the spirit of 4/20s past:

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